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Old 01-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
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Best tire choice??

I have a new 2012 E350 that just came out of Quigley and I'm having converted by SMB. I'll be using the van as a tow vehicle for my 7,800# Airstream trailer.

The "stock" tires/wheels that came from Quigley are LT245/70R17 Rugged Trail T/A tires from BF Goodrich on they grey colored wheels.

My van is black and I'm going for an all black "stealth" them so I want to change to new all-black wheels. At the same time, I was looking for advice/recommendations on the best tire size and/or brands to get for the van considering it's primary role as a tow vehicle.

The van will generally be driven on pavement/improved roads though often when camping, we have to drive through wet fields and/or some less than ideal conditions which is why I had the Quigley conversion so ride comfort is important.

I'm looking for tires that will give me good all-season handling especially when towing a trailer and not sacrifice too much ride comfort as they will only see occasional real "off-road" use.

Should I go for bigger tires and any recommendations for specific tires? The Quigley tires look a little "petite" on the van (see photo) and I wouldn't mind a more aggressive looking tire if it doesn't sacrifice towing safety and/or ride quality. Aluminess front/rear bumpers have yet to be installed.

I'm new to Sportsmobiles so any advice is much appreciated. Thanks

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Best tire choice??

Everyone has their favorite tire choice.

I'm partial to Michelin LTX AT tires. Long wearing, comfortable on the road, acceptable off-road.

Mike
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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Re: Best tire choice??

Nitto Terra Grappler or BFG AT E-rated tires.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Re: Best tire choice??

good luck so far with Nitto Terra Grappler, load range E. Fine aired down or up and seem to be quiet. Less than ideal if in mud.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Re: Best tire choice??

Given my Quigley 4X4 conversion, what would you recommend for tire and rim size? I'm looking for an aggressive "look & feel" but don't want to sacrifice comfort on pavement (where I'll be driving 90% of the time) or safety pulling my trailer.

I'm a total novice when it comes to tires so not exactly sure what to order (I was planning to buy online). Many tire and rim sizes. Also up for suggestions for the best online source to purchase.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Best tire choice??

I'm also in the market for tires, so I'm really interested in this thread. I mostly drive on pavement and dirt/gravel roads. Very little true offroad driving. I also plan to buy dedicated winter tires with aggressive tread and studs.

Basically, I'm trying to decide between an AT tire such as the Michelin LTX AT2 or Goodyear Silent Armor, and a more highway oriented tire such as the Michelin LTX MS2.

I need at least some minimal snow capability, for the shoulder seasons when it snows but I can't put my studs on yet. Anybody have favorite preferences? I've found Tire Rack to be a useful resource, here's a summary of their user's ratings:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyres ... ?type=ORAT

Ford_6L_E350, I'm glad to hear you like those tires, and am leaning heavily toward them. Can you comment on noise or fuel economy compared to other tires you've had?
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: Best tire choice??

I am running Les Schwab Wild Country XTX Sport's on my E350. They are 265/75/16 and have an E rating. Another nice feature is they are also rated as traction devices. This means if there is a conditional road closure where 4 wheel drive vehicles must chain up, technically I won't have to. Of course if the roads are that snotty I'd probably throw iron anyway. I did have the folks at Schwab sipe them which, in my opinion is a must do kind of thing.

I haven't had these tires long enough or in enough different traction situations to give them a thumbs up or down yet. So far I like them but I need to test them in the snow and ice before I would be able to recommend them. They performed well in sand pulling my boat trailer off the beach at the Banks Idaho NF/SF Payette takeout. It's forecast to snow tonight so with any luck I'll be able to give them that test in the morning.


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Old 01-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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Re: Best tire choice??

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDieselVans

Ford_6L_E350, I'm glad to hear you like those tires, and am leaning heavily toward them. Can you comment on noise or fuel economy compared to other tires you've had?
There isn't much difference between the two LTX tires. Road noise is not an issue with the A/T's. I can't comment on the fuel economy because I haven't seen a change in mileage from the previous tires.

I do like the on road manners and the long life - 50K +

Mike
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6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

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2015 VW GTI
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:02 PM   #9
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Re: Best tire choice??

This is a shot with the Nitto Terra Grappler's 285/70 17E. You can't go much bigger on the Quigley conversion without cutting fenders. I was very happy with these tires. One negative was once they were 60% worn, they were useless off road. Lot's of tread for the street but not much traction off road. Great new.



Now I'm running 255/80 17E BFG Mud Terrain. Awesome tires. I don't drive it on the highway much any more since my car gets 25 mpg., so I went more aggressive. I live in the desert, there's hundreds of miles of roads all around me. You can see the dirt starts at the end of my carport. I see SMB's all year long out here.

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Old 01-15-2012, 09:50 AM   #10
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Re: Best tire choice??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350

There isn't much difference between the two LTX tires. Road noise is not an issue with the A/T's. I can't comment on the fuel economy because I haven't seen a change in mileage from the previous tires.

I do like the on road manners and the long life - 50K +

Mike
What tires did you have before?? Seems like SMB puts a pretty aggressive tire on at the factory, like a BFG KO. Like you, I don't anticipate a whole lot of technical off roading, and will drive mostly on the hwy. My van is my only vehicle so handling and MPG are important!
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